I loved you like I loved storms. I was fascinated by every strike of lightning and each gust of wind, the sheer power of it, the wind I mistook for passion and the ferocity I believed was simply something to pass with the movement of clouds.
Little did I know the damage caused to my being every second I caught myself standing in its wake.
I loved you far more than you deserved. I loved you as I took each lie in, learned new coping mechanisms as time went on, felt the panic of post traumatic stress transforming me into someone I'm not, and felt my cheeks sting from the harshness of the palm of your hand more times than I can recall.
I held on because that's what love was supposed to be--for better or for worse. I only wish I'd known it would always be a one sided romance. I loved you and you loved you. But back then, who loved me didn't matter though, because in my book, love wasn't selfish. Love still isn't selfish. And yet, remembering that poor little girl crying on the bedroom floor with the devil's flare in her lover's eyes, I know she knows now what love has to be.
Love must be self-preserving; the act does not end with the other person but continues onto protecting your own being as well. To continue loving, flee from what is destructive; hold tight to what is good. Those bruises the color of the night sky, purple and black against my olive skin, should never have been so common.
Beware a love that requires so many ounces of tears.